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132 MSC Cruises Marseille Cruise Reviews

The number of passengers are far too numerous for the cruise. Had to fight over poolside loungers, food and tables from the buffet, and even standing space at some bars. Whatever you wanted you had to pay extra for. Cabin and cabin service ... Read More
The number of passengers are far too numerous for the cruise. Had to fight over poolside loungers, food and tables from the buffet, and even standing space at some bars. Whatever you wanted you had to pay extra for. Cabin and cabin service was excellent. Very little entertainment in the bars and due to the number of passengers battled to get bar waiter service. Also had to wait for hours to get an elevator to different floors. I have travelled on other cruises and got the impression that once MSC had you on board all they would then try and do is fleece you for your money!!! The food in the Silver Dolphin Restaurant was average, some dishes being wonderful and others awful. The excursions were way overpriced and we did our own thing at a fraction of there price. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly without any hassles. Would think twice before going again with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We were looking for a cruise that fit our schedule in mid July as we would be in Geneva. We chose MSC cruise out of Marseille as it seemed like a good way to introduce my husband to the cruise experience, with a new city each day. We ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise that fit our schedule in mid July as we would be in Geneva. We chose MSC cruise out of Marseille as it seemed like a good way to introduce my husband to the cruise experience, with a new city each day. We stayed in Marseille for a couple of days prior to embarkation. City is “gritty” and “edgy” as the reviewers have said, but it also made us a little anxious. We did however, visit some museums which were excellent, and also spent a day in Aix en Provence which was brilliant. The trip from Marseille (downtown) to the cruise port was about 25 minutes in taxi and no trouble getting there. The MSC staff was helpful and there were very few people, so boarding was very fast. We boarded and were able to access our room immediately. Let’s start with all the good things we found about this particular MSC cruise: 1. The food was excellent. Wherever we ate - the cafeterias, the dining room, the other eateries on the ship- the food was all top quality. We had absolutely no complaints about the quality of the food. We had bought a drinks package prior to boarding, and this I found reduced the annoyance of having to pay for each drink, or the service charges. You should know that NO beverages other than coffee,tea and plain water (not bottled) are included in the all-inclusive so you should get some sort of package if you want to enjoy your cruise. Our drinks package allowed for glasses of wine almost anywhere except our room, all alcoholic beverages, juice (except freshly squeezed we learned on the first day), and canned drinks and mineral or bottled water. It also included specialty coffees and gelato. For us this was great. 2. The cabin was large, clean, and comfortable. No complaints about the cabin itself. Good choice for us but the aft is noisy with the wake of the ship so if you don’t like that noise than it won’t be for you. 3. Itinerary. This cruise has a great itinerary and is interesting for those who like history. It goes to Genoa, Rome, Palermo, Cagliari, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia. We left from Marseille but you can choose other cities for departure. People seemed to get on and off at different sites. Mostly you are sailing at night - you get wonderful views of the ports as you sail off in the early evenings, and again views when you arrive in the mornings. Quite lovely. We did not book excursions with the cruise line because all of them left too early in the mornings for our taste (9 am or so). We did a little homework and for those cities where the ports were close we just disembarked and made our own arrangements. 4. Entertainment. It was all very good including the shows at night. The piano bar had some wonderful singers and a piano player. Very enjoyable. Some other considerations you might find helpful from our experience. 1. Check with the reception desk at the very beginning of the cruise to determine what is included with your card and to make sure that if you pre-ordered anything, it is included on your card. You need the card for everything, including getting off the ship so keep it safe We found the staff to be relatively nice but not particularly helpful or forthcoming with information. We did a lot of “asking questions” at the reception desk because we just didn’t know about certain things - like at the beginning of the cruise “how does the drinks package work? What is included”? We weren’t provided with much information - we eventually found someone who offered us a map of the ship - on day 5, which would have been most helpful on day 1! 2. The “steward” definition on this cruise seems different from my experience on Carnival, where the Steward helped you figure things out and was there to help. In our case we barely saw the Steward, he didn’t introduce himself and when we did ask questions he was unable to answer them. This could be a cultural thing so I wouldn’t put too much into it as it didn’t ruin the cruise or anything - it would just have been nice. 3. There was no concept of line-ups, for lunch, for disembarkation, for waiting for the elevators. This could be a little annoying when we were trying to get back to our room after an excursion, or when the restaurants were busy, but again, we just assumed it was different customs so we did our best. 4. The night prior to arrival in two of the ports - Valencia and Mallorca - we received a notification in our room that if we wanted to go into the city on our own we had to pay a 12 Euro fee for a shuttle. There was no option. We didn’t know this. Had we known, we might have booked an excursion where we wouldn’t have to pay the 12 Euros (each). This information should have been given to us earlier. 5. This is a big ship. It is complicated to get around and there is not always staff to help you figure things out. A little exploring should help, but it is definitely a challenge! This isn’t good or bad - just something I wanted to share. 6. The seated dining experience was not something I enjoyed. The tables were packed together as close as possible - and I mean just barely enough room between some of them to squeeze by. We were a couple, and were assigned to a table of six. I don’t know if you can ask for your own table but I would have preferred this. Even so, the fact that we were so many people packed in together was not a good experience. The service was not especially great either, and people did not seem to dress up for the occasion. We subsequently chose to only use seated dining three times out of the seven nights. It was also very disagreeable that staff were coming around to your table to “sell” you drink packages, or dinner packages. This is something that should not be done. 7. A few last thoughts - the cabins have both North American and European outlets. There aren’t that many though so an extension or extra outlet comes in handy. The shower has a cord for hanging wet clothes. There is a hair dryer that works well. There is a mini bar/fridge you can use with space for a few things. In the mornings I would go for my coffee (a quick trip with no fighting for elevators) and bring it to the room to sit on the balcony. Very lovely to watch the ship arriving. The decoration of this ship is themed on the Italian movie times of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Interesting posters everywhere to see. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I took the 7/7/18 Eastern Caribbean Cruise Pros: The ship is very cool and mondern looking. -Butchers Cut was a great experience -The mobile app is handy but could use a little tweaking. -Rooms were neat and very clean. ... Read More
I took the 7/7/18 Eastern Caribbean Cruise Pros: The ship is very cool and mondern looking. -Butchers Cut was a great experience -The mobile app is handy but could use a little tweaking. -Rooms were neat and very clean. Cons: Pull up a chair -RUDE people work onboard this ship and they are everywhere. This is my 6th cruise and I’ve never seen anything like it. This was probably the biggest turnoff of the entire experience. -Excursions desk is just a plain hot mess. We didn’t receive our excursion tickets which they blamed on house keeping. Refused to reprint so on excursion days we had to get there extra early so they could “look us up”. If you see Anna(Ukraine) at the excursion desk, get ready for some serious attitude. -Food choices are predictable after day 2. Nothing changes day to day...at all! We looked forward to excursions to get food off the ship. -GERMS!!! The sanitizer machines are almost always out of sanitizer. When you go into the common eating areas there are machines and places to wash your hands but most people walk right by without washing or sanitizing. On RC, there is a person standing guard...no wash no eat! -The Gym, if you like to work out, bring a Zumba video on your smart phone. The gym is tiny and 1/3 of the machines(yes I did the math) are broken. -The beds aren’t comfortable but that is subjective, but for me they were just too hard. -NOISE: This ship is loud...not the engines but every noise can be heard from several deck up or several cabins beside you. There can’t be any sound deadening in the walls whatsoever. So you basically go to sleep when the people within 40 feet of you are quiet and you wake up when they do. -Elevevators take a while to get to you, but you can always walk since the gym is crap! -Their is an automatic gratuity for everything. Maybe I missed this on RC, but they charge you a gratuity as if they were actually delivering great service. I do recommend the Jeep tour in St. Maarten...it was a blast and the tour guides were amazing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Had originally planned to do a Baltic cruise on NCL for a family of 4 in 2 cabins, but prices were high and no deals to be had. Not sure if the fact that the dates coincided with the World Cup in Russia were to blame, but the overall price ... Read More
Had originally planned to do a Baltic cruise on NCL for a family of 4 in 2 cabins, but prices were high and no deals to be had. Not sure if the fact that the dates coincided with the World Cup in Russia were to blame, but the overall price was out of our budget. I find that NCL are very expensive now they only do the Premium all inclusive package, particularly if you are very moderate drinkers. Having a browse around one evening, ended up on the USA Expedia website, although we are UK based. This site has an excellent search facility, and found the MSC Seaview, which at the time was several months away from being finished. This was a western med cruise and is unique in the fact that you can get on at most of the ports of call, getting off a week later at the same port. Prices vary dramatically between embarkation ports, getting on a day earlier or later can save hundreds or even thousands of pounds for a family of 4. Genoa and Barcelona are expensive, we chose Marseille and saved a fortune, although we had to fly from Stanstead rather than Manchester to get decent flight prices. Marseille port is quite a distance from the airport.Taxi was close to 50 Euro. MSC seem to be trying hard to get American cruisers on their European ships at the moment, USA prices are considerably less than the prices on the MSC UK website. Extra benefits were $500 on-board credit if you paid by Mastercard, 14 drinks vouchers per person for the Fantastica package, and free bottled water for all cabin types.We were unsure if Expedia USA would take bookings from the UK, but when we phoned them they said it was not a problem, although that turned out to be not entirely true. We booked 2 cabins, a Fantastica cabin for myself and my wife and a Bella cabin for the 2 girls (15 & 21) paying the 2 deposits in dollars, by a fee free Halifax Mastercard. Within an hour we had had an email saying one of the deposit payments had not gone through and could we contact our cruise consultant again, (Expedia agents do not have international dialing rights as I think many of them are home based). We eventually managed to contact her and she dealt with MSC directly while we waited on the line, although it took her 30 minutes to get through to them. Next day my wife noticed that there were 3 deposit amounts on the credit card statement. we spoke to Expedia and were advised to contact MSC directly as it transpired that Expedia hadn't actually taken the payments at all, but had passed the card details to MSC to take payment directly, this was mirrored on the statement that showed MSC as the merchant. Contacting MSC call centre was a nightmare. Waits on hold of up to an hour before speaking to an agent and finding someone who could resolve it was frustrating. I spent around 3 hours on the phone over a period of a week or so before speaking to someone who resolved it. To be fair to MSC it was a few days after a major hurricane and they were busy trying to recover from the disruption. I had reason to speak the them just prior to the cruise and the call was answered in under 5 minutes. As we had booked via USA, we were associated with the USA MSC website. You cannot put your booking number in the UK website and see your booking. Unlike the Expedia website, the MSC site is a dog. We had constant problems from start to finish. It doesn't always behave as you might expect and things reset to default or just disappear. Online Check In was a nightmare, The UK address not helping, but it mainly just doesn't work. ( Tip: If you can't get your UK address in, complete the field for the second person in the cabin first, then tick the box that says "same address for all passengers"). We uploaded images for our identification picture multiple times, but they disappear if you make any changes to any other fields. When we boarded, they took new pictures any way, which over wrote the ones we had already uploaded. I wouldn't bother with the pictures before boarding again. We'd been watching the GBP USD exchange rates, and decided to pay the final balance a few weeks before we actually needed to, but we hit problems again, Our plan was to pay for one cabin in USD, pay the card off in GBP, then pay the second cabin the week after. Unfortunately the payment was processed twice again by MSC, pushing the card to its limit. It took a further 3 weeks of phone calls and emails to Expedia and MSC to get this resolved. When we eventually came to pay for the 2nd cabin, neither Expedia and MSC were able to process the payment. More phone calls and emails, we were given various reasons including a policy change and technical difficulties. I tried again a week later ready for a bun fight, but it went through in 2 minutes with no issues. we subsequently booked excursions and other add-ons via the website with no issues I probably would book through the USA again, but I'd be more prepared for the problems. I've booked through NCL via their USA call centre in the past and had no issues at all. To the cruise, eventually! Boarding at Marseille was extremely quick. Less than 30 minutes after arriving at the port we were on the ship. We were given our drinks vouchers as we checked in. Both rooms were ready. The fact that people get on and off every day means the numbers at any particular port are much smaller. There is no last night depression either when every one is getting off the next day. I think less than 500 got on that day. Most seem to board at Genoa and Barcelona. The ship is absolutely stunning. Lots of chrome and mirrors, although at times it's a bit difficult to tell where you are. Some parts of some decks can only be reached by certain lifts. Didn't have much trouble getting a lift, although we used the 2 panoramic elevators at the back most of the time as we were towards that end. There is loads of outside space, for eating, drinking and sunbathing. You cannot get to the front of any deck as its reserved for Yacht Club guests. They tend to walk around behind a butler holding a big Yacht Club paddle. Quite funny really, although a bit annoying at times. We were 8PM dining in the Silver Dolphin Restaurant had a table of 4 just for us which is how we like it. I was a bit disappointed in the dining experience overall. Limited choices some nights, Way too many veggie and vegan options unless you're into that sort of thing. We always felt a bit rushed and were out by 9:15 most nights. Portion sizes were very small with hardly any vegetables etc. The food wasn't warm enough for me, although I do like my food very hot. If you had anything other than wine it was impossible to get a 2nd drink as the staff were too busy. We did the Butchers Cut steakhouse one night, That was excellent. The steak was hot and one of the best I've ever had. There are 2 buffets, the largest on deck 8 and a smaller one on deck 16. we never had issues getting a seat at either. We actually ate outside most of the time. Always managed to find plenty to eat. Food temperature was the usual buffet lottery. Lots of sunbeds to be had, but bear in mind they are spread all over the ship on various decks. If you want a prime spot by one of the pools you will need to be up early. Lots of hot tubs around, never had a problem getting into one. There are bars all over the ship, both inside and outside, something for all tastes. Some are smoking bars, so avoid these if you are not a smoker. Seating was never really an issue, if one was full, just head off to another. Service was good, and drinks prices pretty reasonable for a cruise ship. We had paper drinks coupons, some that came as part of the Fantastica package, others we bought online before boarding (Beer, Wine & Water Easy, Soda, coffee) Not really a fan of the paper vouchers, would much rather see them electronically on your account. Had 3 issues using these, where the staff didn't correctly zero them off the hand held terminals they use to take orders. Had to go to Guest Services to get resolved, although they were dealt with quickly and efficiently. Had some great coffees and chocolates in the Venchi Chocolate and coffee bar on deck 5 Was not impressed by the entertainment on the ship at all. The main shows were very short and pretty much the same every night. A random selection of songs and dance routines, with no speech that made no sense whatsoever. Every night there were 2 bendy girls, a rope artist and a roller skating duo who appeared at random points during the show, while the dancers changed into the next costume. Compared against what NCL are doing, it was dire. We gave up after 3 nights and went to the bars instead. Other singers around the ship were very average. The DJ who deafened every one on the Deck 16 outdoor stage had a repertoire consisting of "Oh Yeah" and "One, Two, Three, Four" Did one tour to a village on Sicily by coach, reasonably priced. Otherwise did our own thing. Conclusion: Great value cruise on an awesome ship. It's a bit different to the American companies with a more European feel. Needs some work on the main dining to appeal to the American market. Entertainment needs a total rethink. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
First off, we are tough critics so keep that in mind while reading our review. We chose MSC Seaside for a few reasons. The biggest is that last year we cruised the MSC Divina for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. Our ... Read More
First off, we are tough critics so keep that in mind while reading our review. We chose MSC Seaside for a few reasons. The biggest is that last year we cruised the MSC Divina for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. Our party has 3 generations (teenagers, middle-aged/50, and in-laws in their 80s) traveling and without fail all thought the Divina, and its staff, were the best we ever had. This lead us to try the Seaside. This was somewhat of a last-minute trip so we did not have many options room wise. We ended up booking the lowest option (guaranteed cabin x3) at the Bella experience. The Unlimited Drinks special was going on. We ended up getting assigned balconies (woohooo) for staterooms on the 12th floor. Great way to start. Our thoughts are as follows: Cons: – MSC Website is the worst I have ever used. It baffles me as to why they have not fixed it. We struggled with it last year and this year. They almost lost the sale due to it. If you can’t get a website right, how can we trust you to sail a ship? -Timing/logistics seem to need a review or overhaul. For instance, the cruise critic party was at 10:00 AM. We got notice on our door at 9:00 AM. The White Night Party was on an evening before a port, however Italian night was the night before at sea. We were all dragging in port wondering why the 10:30 PM party was held the night before an 8:00 AM port. The Black Party was held at 5:00. Our dinner was 5:15. Just odd timing on things. -Quiet space on the ship is hard to come by. The ship is amazingly beautiful but the thump thump thump music coming from the main lobby permeates most areas that are meant for congregation. This made it tough for us to find space with all three generations to relax and talk. I was somewhat surprised by the music choices on elegant nights as well. I expected something a little more elegant but that did not happen. -Drink package is odd. No real place to find out what is included and most wait staff tell you something different each time. The drinks you are entitled to are free however there is a service charge (tip) for each drink. No one could explain to us what it was (we were told it was tax). HOT TIP – go to the self-service drink station on deck 8 buffet. You card will dispense beer and wine that are included in your package. It is completely at your leisure and no tip is added, -The gym is too small -I only saw the zip line operate once. Not sure why it was closed most of the trip -It can get pretty crowded in the food areas -The “library” is odd. I have never seen a library that has a pool table, checker boards and is a main walkway. I think it was more of an afterthought. -Got zinged by the minibar again. We were charged for something we did not take. HOT TIP-when you check in have the steward inventory the minibar in front of you then ask them to lock it for the duration of the cruise (we forgot this go around) -You can keep Nassua Pros: -Staff was great. Still love Rom (waiter in the for-fee dining area) -Lots to do. There was always something going on. We took many dance lessons and the instructors were fun and patient -Little kiddos seemed to LOVE that water park which was fun to see -Food was good and plentiful. Not “amazing” but good and reasonable. -Rooms were nice. Love the couch. Storage is tight as is the toilet area but something must give. -Getting on and off the ship was the best we have ever experienced. -The ship truly is amazing. You must ride the elevator at the back of the ship while at sea. The views are amazing -The bridge of sighs and infinity bridges were super cool -I was easily able to find deck chairs on the sides of the ship when I wanted a little sun nap. I am not a big at sea pool guy so this option was perfect for me - I thought the MSC for Me app was helpful. If they would add person to person “texting” or adult tracking it would be amazing. The onboard touchscreens throughout the ship are super handy too -The evening shows were really good. We don’t usually go to many shows but found ourselves going to most and were not disappointed. HOT TIP – If you are going to a show use the MSC app or a touch screen to reserve a seat. We were in the 5:15 dining rotation and could make the 6:45 show if we were there promptly at 5:15. The 8:00 show is usually booked solid so book early if you want that time. -I rode the slides with the kids and made the Mrs. try it once too. Lots of fun (I got dizzier on the brown kids slide than the adult blue slides) -Elegant night and Voyagers party served drinks and snacks. The elegant night “Happy Hour” started at about 4:45 but was not very well advertised but is a great way to start out the night -The way they do pictures is great. There are viewing stations where you scan your card and can bring up digitals of all your pix. Much easier than playing where’s waldo and looking at a wall full of other people while looking for yours Overall, we enjoyed the trip and would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We were ill for several weeks after the cruise. Our stomach problems really stared on the plane after leaving the ship on the last day. We had only eaten on-board while on the cruise. We are convinced that we caught a bug whilst on board. ... Read More
We were ill for several weeks after the cruise. Our stomach problems really stared on the plane after leaving the ship on the last day. We had only eaten on-board while on the cruise. We are convinced that we caught a bug whilst on board. After 3 Visits to the doctors my wife now seems to be a lot better but still has stomach problems. We were contacted by a passenger stayed on the ship for a further week after us. This was her comments:- There were lots of people on the ship (passengers and crew) with low-grade food poisoning but the medical team and ship were misreporting it so they would not be investigated by the port authorities. Whole tables were having problems -7 out of 8 on our table with just my partner being OK. The last 2 days they actually started taking action and cleaning handrails, enforcing the hand gel when going into the restaurants and when getting on the ship. The cruise was bad. The cabin was so narrow that to get into bed we had to bend down and shuffle sideways, it was not comfortable at all. The passengers on board were mainly Italian. We had been on board only an hour when this middle aged Italian ran into my wife almost knocking her over. If you used the lifts you had to fight your way out as the other passengers would rush into the lifts giving you no chance to get out. The quality of the food was very poor. The main restaurant was OK if all you wanted was pizza, pasta or burgers. The formal restaurant was slightly better but the portions were poor and the preparation variable. I asked for a medium steak but it arrived raw inside. After sending it back twice I gave up. The staff were generally polite but I heard reports of someone swearing at a passenger and the waiting staff having a “bun fight” during dinner one night. When we arrived back in the UK we spoke to friends of ours that had been on a different MSC cruise shortly before and they state that they would never go on another. We went to see customer services on the last night. The fist girl I spoke to was very polite and friendly. She told me I would have to speak to a manager who was very impolite and so was his manager, all they did was quote company policy and were not interested in sorting our problem out. The ship was terrible. Passengers were allowed to smoke in the bar area even though there was an enclosed smoking area next to the bar. On arriving back I tried to contact MSC customer services, only to be told that I could not speak to anyone, they only responded to email. I sent an email, which was returned days later because I had not used the correct customer services address. I had to send it again. Why the person could not have forwarded my email I do not know. I received a reply back to say they would contact me within 28 days. I did not receive an email for over a month. I truly believe that any company that only deals with emails for customer services and sets a response date of a month, do not really care about customers. Never again MSC. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I booked this cruise to spend time with my two daughters, the youngest just graduated from college, and my sister-in-law. This was the first time we all cruised together, and was looking for a fun "girls' trip". We really ... Read More
I booked this cruise to spend time with my two daughters, the youngest just graduated from college, and my sister-in-law. This was the first time we all cruised together, and was looking for a fun "girls' trip". We really wanted to do a Mediterranean trip, and the price, dates, ports fit our bill. We booked a "suite", cabin 9001 Aurea experience, because it was more cost effective if we all stayed in the same cabin. After confirming our trip, I started to read reviews here about this ship, and started doubting my choice. This was my 17th cruise, but first on MSC. I started dreading my decision from all the negative reviews, but decided to suck it up, and since my family is pretty easy-going (I'm the spoiled one), and it was too late to back out. My husband and I cruise usually twice a year, and a lot of my decision-making is on this site and other reviews. But, I'm going to say, for now on, I'm going to be taking future reviews with a grain of salt. I've never written a review, but here it goes... Embarkation and Disembarkation- Rome (Civitavecchia)- We came in a day earlier and stayed at a charming B&B. We arrived at the port at around 11:30am, and it was a breeze to get on the ship. Took no more than 20 minutes. Disembarkation- we left our bags out the night before, and left the ship about 8:30am. I'd say it was about 30-40 min from the time we left the ship, grabbed our bags, and hailed a taxi. Totally painless experience. I will recommend arriving to the ship around 11ish am, because it seemed more chaotic around 2-3pm, but we were already sipping on wine at that point. Cabin- we were in cabin 9001, at the very front of the ship. No balcony, but a panoramic window. It's categorized as a "suite", but it was more of an oversized cabin. My sil and I slept in the two twin beds, and my girls slept in the pullout couch. The twin beds were comfortable; the pullout couch is what it is- a pullout couch, but the girls were fine with it. There was plenty of space for the four of us. The bathroom was surprisingly big, and included a bathtub! I've never had a bathtub in any of my other cruises. There are plenty of outlets, including 2 US standard plugins, and a USB port. Our room steward was on top of every need, and was very discreet. My only complaint about the room is, being in the very front, it is VERY noisy when coming into port. From about 4am (if we ported around 7am), every groaning of the ship, dropping of anchors,etc, was heard in our room. But I just put a pillow over my head and went back to sleep. The girls, because their pullout wasn't as sturdy as our beds, tended to rock more with the ship. Dining- The dining was fine here. Did it knock my socks off? No, and I'm super picky. But I could find something on every menu, whether at the buffet or MDR. And I don't understand everyone's gripe about finding seating at the buffet. We never had a problem. Before we even perused the offerings for food, we found a table, threw one of bags on it, then filled our plates. The MDR offerings were decent. I agree with other reviewers that portions are smaller, but who cares? It was enough food, and if we wanted more, we'd just ask. We had a lovely woman waiting on us, Francelly, and she did everything to make our dining experience wonderful. We did have one night with another waiter, didn't catch his name, and he was dreadful compared to Francelly. So, if reviewers got him, I'd understand their bitter review. Entertainment- went to three shows and enjoyed them. Service- Another thing I disagree with other reviewers. The service was awesome. Everyone was willing to help, even guest services was very accommodating. Ports- LOVED THEM ALL! Bottom line- I think the reviews I've read about this ship did not reflect my experience. Were there snafus? Absolutely, but I've had them on ALL cruises I've been on. Would def cruise MSC Divina again, and look forwardto experience her other ships! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Because on this ship everybody can board/disembark at every port there was no queue when we embarked. When we got on we weren't told anything apart from the fact our key card will be in the room. We then felt a bit lost. We went to ... Read More
Because on this ship everybody can board/disembark at every port there was no queue when we embarked. When we got on we weren't told anything apart from the fact our key card will be in the room. We then felt a bit lost. We went to our room where we got our cruise news info. We had a balcony cabin at the rear which was quite roomy. Our cabin attendant was friendly. Bathroom was a decent size and no wet shower curtain, it was a door. The attention to detail on this ship is amazing. It looks very stylish. Lots of bars on board, all with their own different personality. Even the buffet looks stylish. Reasonable amount of choice. A Pasta station, Pizza station, regular buffet, Vegetarian and an "Ethnic" station but I think they mean more Asian food. The main restaurant is efficient. Portions are quite small, European size but very tasty. We had a table for 6 but managed to get this changed after 2 days for a table of 2. They don't have very many tables of 2. We used the gym most days and it was very big and had excellent equipment. The entertainment is fantastic. They do a theatre show every night with amazing singing and dancing. One night is an opera singing night too. The official language on board is Italian but they also do the announcements in French, English, Spanish & German. We did the behind the scenes tour which was reasonably priced compared to other companies. It was such an interesting tour, we really enjoyed it. This is our first time with MSC and would definitely use them again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
After reading the reviews on here we were almost scared of what was in store if we booked this cruise, however we went ahead due to the interesting port calls. I can honestly say the ship is fine, unless of course you’re expecting a big ... Read More
After reading the reviews on here we were almost scared of what was in store if we booked this cruise, however we went ahead due to the interesting port calls. I can honestly say the ship is fine, unless of course you’re expecting a big American style liner, which it is not. The interiors of the ship may not be minimalistic fresh style found on newer ships but it has a charming almost “Royal Yacht” feeling, which we found cozy and warm. It had traditional interiors but it was not dated or dusty or unclean like it was stated here, infact cleaniness was very high onboard both in public spaces and in cabins. The one thing we do agree on with other reviewers is that food is bland. We found the dining room was awful on the one night we used it but buffet had enough to eat and there was always something but it requires more poking around than we experienced on the American liners. Honestly with such hot weather not having extensive amounts of food to eat didn’t bother us, interestingly on the flip side desserts were nicer than we had on other liners and resorts. The bars really made up for what was lacking in dining, they all had nice ambience and great staff (staff in general were friendly just not in that hyper American way) and the drinks were good and strong (though cocktails were stronger on Deck 5 than 11). This cruise is adequate and isn’t the disaster pit made out here but don’t expect it be like Royal Carribean where the ship is the destination, it isn’t but the ports of calls are amazing and the ship is comfortable and had a nice latin ambiance that matched up with the region. We can’t comment on shows or excursions as we didn’t attend them or book with MSC for the latter. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Well firstly the on board entertainment/activities was very poor from the last cruise I was on...the entertainment does not last long for people who don't do excursions...I got very bored on the ship...there is it enough music and ... Read More
Well firstly the on board entertainment/activities was very poor from the last cruise I was on...the entertainment does not last long for people who don't do excursions...I got very bored on the ship...there is it enough music and dancing at the pool area....some scheduledscheduled activities didnt even take place...the entertainmet staff is not engaging enough... The casino system is very bad with the ticket system ...one would think that money would be loaded onto your card..and like myself who was could unaware lost 60 euros cause i didnt print a ticket....and the casino couldn't even tell me who then took the ticket out of the machine ...I'm sure the casino staff are very aware of this over site and has collected many unclaimed tickets for them selfs...this ship is just about marketing on board to make me money off passsagers and less worried about the passengers enjoyment....the rule that all passangers sharing the all inclusive drinks package is a total indecation of this...my cabin partner was not a drinker so why do both need to make the purchase, I find that totaly unaceptable and gready of MSC to make more money... .other than that the ship itself is very good and the food is great.....and the lack of staff understandings English is not a good thing Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Embarkation in Genoa started off as a nightmare. It was disorganised, none of the staff knew where we had to go and the signage was very confusing. No sign of the Yacht Club tent until we finally got directions from a staff member who ... Read More
Embarkation in Genoa started off as a nightmare. It was disorganised, none of the staff knew where we had to go and the signage was very confusing. No sign of the Yacht Club tent until we finally got directions from a staff member who actually knew where the Yacht Club check in was. With suitcases, this was very stressful not helped by the fact that 2 ships were in at the same time. Our new butler, Maksim, was amazing. He was there if you needed him but left you alone if you didnt want anything. He was friendly and professional and always had time for a chat. Butlers tend to provide room service but they also serve in the Top Sail lounge and the One Pool Deck this gives a continuity of service as they know how you like drinks, etc. There are 3 places in the Yacht Club where you could get food (apart from room service) the One Pool Deck, the Top Sail lounge and the restaurant. You could also book in to one of the speciality restaurants although we didnt do this as the food was so good in the Yacht Club. Main buffet: We ate in the main buffet twice and we had no problem getting a seat. The button on each table to ask for drinks was a really nice touch and the service was quick and friendly. Food here was nice although there were some strange combinations of food which made it difficult to have a complete meal. However, you could get burgers, hot dogs and pizza here. Yacht Club One Pool Deck: Here you could have casual breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks. We had roast beef, chicken parmigiana and salmon amongst others and the food was generally good but was sometimes a bit lukewarm. This place is great if the weather was good but you couldnt eat up here if it was cold. You also had a full range of drinks including some very nice wines such as Chablis and Pinot Grigio. Top Sail lounge: There was a small buffet of cold snacks such as sandwiches, cakes and nuts. You could also get sushi here and they had canapes before dinner. You could also take high tea here between 4-5pm where you had a 3 tier cake and sandwich stand with a selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and real clotted cream. If you wanted any other sandwiches, you only needed to ask and they would get you some. They also had a selection of loose leaf teas which were served from the trolley. A very civilised experience. Yacht Club Restaurant: This was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The first night was really good and Ajay was efficient. However, the second night started out as a disaster, so much so that we tried to walk out. It took an age for the menus to arrive, we didnt get any drinks and the waiter couldnt understand what we wanted. When we walked out, we were stopped by the Restaurant Supervisor Massimo who was very concerned and persuaded us to stay. He seated us in another section of the restaurant and our new waiter, Miljan, was amazing. He served us for the rest of our cruise and we didnt want for anything. He got to know what wines we liked and recommended some new ones which were good to try. He also tailored the dishes and had a really good sense of humour. He knew how to tailor the service based on our personality and attitude. We never had an issue getting a table bar one night (tables were available but not in Miljans section) so we were asked to go to the Top Sail lounge and Massimo came to collect us as soon as a table was ready. He generally got us the same table every night which was nice. Joyce, the Assistant Waiter, was also really good remembering that we liked still water and what type of bread we generally like. Miljan and Massimo really made our cruise special and we were quite emotional when we left the last night. Massimo also organised an anniversary meal for us with a specially cooked dish and a bottle of champagne. The entertainment on board ranged from dire to quite good. It seemed that MSC has spent all the money on Cirque du Soleil on board and not had much left for the other entertainment. We did not go to see Cirque du Soleil as it is not our cup of tea but there were spaces available every night for the shows for both the meal and drink options. Highlights: Yacht Club and the Meraviglia itself is amazing Always loungers available even on the main decks (never busy on the One Deck even on sea days) Service was impeccable Food was of a very good standard with some great wines recommended The butler service was amazing including getting on and off the ship The button on the buffet tables to get a drink worked really well Concierge and room service were excellent Loved the pillow menu. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
A Cruise trip is a dream come true for many of us, especially those from the Asian countries since they are not, exactly, economy. Apart from the cost of Cruise Trip, which can amount to $280 a day for a couple, you have to reach the ... Read More
A Cruise trip is a dream come true for many of us, especially those from the Asian countries since they are not, exactly, economy. Apart from the cost of Cruise Trip, which can amount to $280 a day for a couple, you have to reach the embarkation point of the Cruise on your own. Other costs include daily trips to shore for sightseeing as the ship docks on a new location every day. The total cost on a Mediterranean Cruise, for a couple, works out to: Cruise cost = $2000 (seven day trip) Cost of reaching the port of embarkation(France)= $ 1850 Daily trips to shore for sightseeing= $700 Taxi + last day shore stay = $ 150 Wifi + drinks on ship = $100 Tips on ship(compulsory) = $140 TOTAL about $ 5000 Cruise ships are floating cities offering you every kind of facility in the form of Drinks, Casinos, Stage Shows, Pools, Jacuzzis, Shopping and every other form of temptation imaginable. There is a bar at every corner with irresistible cocktails beckoning you to try them out. Our ship was huge, with a crew of 800, management claimed to be preparing almost 20,000 meals a day. The worst part is the food. The buffet halls are open 20 hours a day and every kind of fruits, salads, pizzas, breads, hundreds of type of dishes, sea food, puddings, cakes and anything else you can think of is on offer from around the globe. It is impossible not to give in to the temptation, however hard you may try. It is no brainer, therefore, that despite all precautions, all of us put on 2-3 Kg of weight within the first two days. All the food at buffet counters is on the house. Despite all these temptations, by day two we had realized that we needed the skills of a fox to survive in this jungle full of traps at every step and if I did not watch out I would be disembarking with none of my clothes fitting me. Obviously, some strategy was required to ensure one does not pay for unnecessary things and at the same time make full use of a host of facilities being offered in the package. So we worked out a routine to do all of above, and more, as follows: We got up at 6 AM, there being no arrangement for tea in the cabin, one was expected to go up to 14th floor buffet hall to get it, a prospect hard to follow early in the morning. So we brought two satchels of tea+ milk from the dining hall in the night, heated two cups of water in our room with a tiny rod that we always carry with us, and had a nice cuppa ready in a few minutes. (tea served in the entire western hemisphere is always lukewarm, perhaps they like it that way). Water bottles are available at €3, (even the first bottle in your room is charged), but you can always fill up the empty ones in the buffet hall. We got ready and headed for the gym located on top floor of the ship by 6.30 AM. Gym is located in the forward most portion of the ship and it gives a heady feeling watching the ship sail right from the front. Completed our cycling and treadmill routine by 7 AM and then we headed for the Jacuzzi hall located right outside, which opened at 7. At this time there are few people and these huge Jacuzzi pools, which can take up to 10 people each, at a wonderful temperature of 370C, were just what the doctor ordered. After half a hour in the Jacuzzi pools, we came out, fully charged, and headed for the Buffet Hall for a fresh fruit feast (Phalahar). Despite all temptations, refrain from eating anything else. Go back to your room for a bath and getting ready for the day’s excursion. Then head for the buffet hall again by 8.30 AM or thereabouts, depending on what time will your ship dock. Now is the time to enjoy your breakfast. Best take a round of the entire buffet hall before you choose, as there are 10-15 stations to choose from, and if you fill up from the first few ones, you will invariably regret it later on. Sadly, you will notice many of the travelers wasting a lot of food, but we don’t want to emulate that, do we? You would want to go for local sightseeing in whichever town the ship has docked. One way is to book an excursion organized by the ship. These have to be pre booked. These trips are expansive at around € 60 per person. They take you in buses and halt at one or two predetermined places only. The other way is to come out of the dock and look for a 4-6 seater taxi. This is a much better and cheaper option, if you are in a group. Sometimes you can’t walk out as the dock gate is far away or you are not allowed to walk. In such cases, the ship organizes ferry services to a convenient point (on payment, of course, at € 10-12 a pop). Then you can make use of Hop on-off buses available locally or again hire taxis to go around. Since you have to be back by around 4 PM, you will never get enough time for local sightseeing. The best option is to choose a couple of places to spend time on and take a drive through the rest (better to do your homework before starting on your cruise trip). After return to the ship, take a cup of tea at the buffet hall, take a shower and get ready by 7 PM and come over to the lobby bar for a drink(not cheap by our standards, a glass of beer costs around € 5+). Some of us, lucky ones, were provided with a coupon booklet which gave us a limited choice of free drinks. Do try some of the cocktails offered, they look enticing. The evening shows commence at 7.30 PM. They are performed by professionals and are a treat to watch. These shows finish by 8.15 PM and then you can come back to the Bar or go for Dinner. All the lobbies are full of stalls selling perfumes, watches and other knick knack imaginable. There is also a huge Casino on board, many times offering you free coupons to nudge you to get going. With nowhere else to go, it is not difficult to give in. All this can get pretty heady as all the décor around the lobbies is five star and beyond. This is especially true for those who have been exposed to such environment and luxury for the first time. For dinner you either go to the buffet hall or head for one of the fancy restaurants where you are pre allotted a seat for a sit down dinner at 9 PM. If you choose the fancy restaurant route, it will take more than an hour and a half before you can finish your dinner. Also, wine or water etc., will have to be paid for at these tables. Too bad if you don’t like the dish served to you. It is no brainer, therefore, that after the first day none of us went back to that table. I suspect that, except for some stuck up guys coming to dinner in formal clothes, striking business deals, no body went back there. Some days Captain of the ship, or his Deputy, must have been the only guy having his dinner there. Speaking of the Captain, we were invited to have our photograph taken with the captain, so we all decked up in formal clothes and landed up at the appointed place. I perceived that the Captain should feel honored to have his photograph taken with a person of my rank and standing, but that guy was even more stuck up than me and he hardly glanced at the guests and stood around looking at the sky with his female secretaries fussing over him. This looked somewhat akin to a coop full of hen, with a single bossy Cock. Imagine the temerity of these guys, they wanted me to pay for this photo! I rather thought it should have been the other way around. While on the ship, avoid the temptation to shop even if watches, perfumes etc. are available at a fake discount of 30%. Best time to socialize and make friends is over a drink around the pool after you return from the sightseeing or just before and after the stage shows. Be warned that there are huge queues everywhere, especially when you enter the ship or are leaving the ship in the morning. What is surprising is that there was always a big queue at the reception. You have to wait a long time to resolve a query or get to get a question answered. If it is deliberate, I couldn’t fathom the reason. They ask you to deposit € 250 at the beginning of the cruise on your card issued by them. This card is also used for exit or entry to the ship, our passports having been retained by them on arrival. All your expenses are done through this card and deducted from your deposit. Tips are also deducted every day at the rate of € 10 per person. Parting is always a painful process but the cruise organizers seem to have undergone special training to make it more so. We were to dock at 1 PM on the final day. They asked us to deposit our luggage by 11PM the previous night. This caused us immense discomfort. It is difficult to fathom the reasons for such a wise step. To top it all we were asked to assemble at 2.10 PM for disembarkation, we all reached the assembly point, waited till 3 PM and when nobody turned up, we all just walked out of the ship. It looked kind of weird. All in all you can have a fairly good time despite these minor hiccups. Language is a barrier on European tours, all announcements are made in, at least, four languages. Preferably, best to travel in a group, you don’t feel lost and it is cheaper as well. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
£3700 pounds for a nightmare , dirty tables Full lifts Staff English very limited Everyone using the wheelchair and pram entrance so my children were irritable waiting over an hour to board . Some staff were great and some ... Read More
£3700 pounds for a nightmare , dirty tables Full lifts Staff English very limited Everyone using the wheelchair and pram entrance so my children were irritable waiting over an hour to board . Some staff were great and some terrible , the better ones in the paying restraunts . If your thinking of travelling mainly Italians and announcements are mainly in other languages other than English . Buffet most days clear your own table before sitting like a zoo. The ship is very attractive however the staff are the ones that can make or break your stay . The rooms very clean and attendant was polite . Waiters in main restraint were great . If MSC said I’ll give you a £1000 cruise voucher to a future cruise I would decline. I blame the ships management as moral seems an all time low . Especially avoid this cruise if you are from the uk and have children as the kids club speak little English and focus more on there own spoken language . The excursion from the port to Marseille is charged by Msc however there’s a free shuttle so they will have you over for this. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We got a good deal through Cruise Nation and although it wasn't an ideal time of year to cruise the Mediterranean we were looking forward to seeing the ports of call and experiencing life on a huge ship. Sadly we found that life with ... Read More
We got a good deal through Cruise Nation and although it wasn't an ideal time of year to cruise the Mediterranean we were looking forward to seeing the ports of call and experiencing life on a huge ship. Sadly we found that life with MSC was not for us and never will be again. We boarded at Barcelona and it was a relatively smooth process. The ship is really a hop-on hop-off service around the Med so there wasn't a full boarding process. The numbers boarding at Citavecchia seemed greater which is no surprise as it is an Italian ship. The ship itself was impressively huge and inside was the epitome of bling with shiny finishes and mirrors everywhere The ship had 5000 plus passengers and when everyone was on board it was hell on earth. The cabin was a little sanctuary but as soon as you stepped out the door it was mayhem with people pushing and shoving everywhere, competing for every facility on board. Everyone was allocated a particular restaurant for their evening meal although it was the same menu in each one. On the first evening it took almost two hours to be served three courses of luke warm, miniscule portions of bland food. After that experience we didn't go back. We did check the menu each day and found very little to suit the British palate, even if it had been palatable.The only alternative was to use the Market Place buffet areas which, most of the time, resembled a school canteen gone mad. There was no semblance of order with long queues at the counters, rude people wandering around with full plates, eating as they walked and pushing in front of others at the serveries. I have no desire to be racist, but another reviewer hinted at the huge numbers of a far Eastern race who monopolised large parts of the buffet areas, descending like a plague of locusts as soon as the doors opened, each carrying their little flasks and emptying the drinks containers. After a few days all the pleasure of eating on board, if there ever had been any, had gone. We saw the Cirqe de Soleil Sonar show and it was very good. The other shows in the Broadway theatre were average enough but were ruined by the number of people allowed in well after the show had started. We even had the pleasure of a group of children stand behind us talking loudly and laughing through the performance. As other people have said the central mall area is impressive but it does take up a lot of space with no purpose. There is large area given over to a Chocolate Bar/shop which is completely pointless and a range of designer outlets with huge prices The Brass Anchor pub was enjoyable until the female vocalist did her strangled cat impression each night. The Edge cocktail bar on Deck 7 was the most popular but, conversely, was the one with the least seating. People could be seen loitering around waiting for a table or chair to become free and then compete to get there first. We have to compliment the bar and waiting staff on the ship. They worked long hours but were always the most pleasant and well mannered. We didn't do any of the MSC excursions. Most of the ports were walkable from the ship. MSC were looking 16 euros for a shuttle bus into Marseille but didn't tell you that a 15 minute walk from the ship took you to the free port shuttle. In all, not an experience to be repeated. We will stick to a smaller, more personal and more British based cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
A quick review of Meraviglia...... this was my second MSC cruise in 6 months, usually travelling with RCI. We boarded in Marseilles one very rainy Saturday. I think there were only about 400 joining the 'bus' that day. ... Read More
A quick review of Meraviglia...... this was my second MSC cruise in 6 months, usually travelling with RCI. We boarded in Marseilles one very rainy Saturday. I think there were only about 400 joining the 'bus' that day. Boarding started at 12 noon prompt and we were on board before 10 past. Muster was held in the theatre and then, rather strangely we were led to where our actual muster station was (a random point along the deck 6 promenade.....) . It was a very multi cultural cruise with a very large group of Chinese on board. We had a balcony on deck 9, 2 doors away from the 'secret' lift which was the perfect location and highly recommended. The only issue we had was on the last night when many Spanish teens got on board and they used the foyer of the secret lift for their meeting place at 3am, chatting very loudly. The room was well appointed, rather strange wall paining of some vegetables. Cupboard was very small with sliding doors that didn't slide very well. 2 drawers and 2 shelves. Very little storage. Suitcases fitted under the bed. Beds were very comfortable and the shower was very hot. Hairdryer in top drawer of dresser. Very odd dressing table chair which isn't a chair at all but a very heavy uncomfortable stool. No hooks on the wall to hang coats so they had to go in the cupboard. Being Black member I got a bottle of prosecco, chocolate covered strawberries, bathrobes, the chocolate ship, a backpack, an invite for 2 to a specialty restaurant, invite to cocktail party, free photo which is the one taken at the cocktail party, invite to a dance class, and and hour in the gym. I think that was all! We went to Butchers Cut for the complimentary dinner - very good steak well cooked but I found the starters a bit odd. I had the goats cheese and it came in a skillet on a rather hard base...it was too large I think. For pudding I had the cookie which came in the (same) skillet and again was a bit heavy going. The restaurant temperature was very cold and for pudding we actually moved tables out onto the balcony. Staff on board were excellent. Especially those in the English pub and in the various bars. The ship was spotless. Dress code was varied (to put it politely). The spa area is huge with so many baths and steam rooms - it was very enjoyable. Weather was not good - rain in Marseilles and Genoa. Snow in Rome which resulted in tours being cancelled. The ship was very good about keeping people informed. Music everywhere - lovely classical music in the atrium, a good band allowing for dancing in the Meraviglia Bar, salsa type band and karaoke in the On Air club; the only music I didn't like was the singer in the pub which I felt was far too loud for the space. I also liked the fact that some of the entertainment team were always around dancing with guests. The ship definitely had a party atmosphere. The ceiling display is impressive and only lasts a few minutes. Shows were proficient. I liked the one that was about the Apps. I did not go to see Cirque de Soleil. The chocolate shop is large and takes up a lot of space and I never saw anyone in there. I bought a box to go for €17.70 The Sky Lounge is a lovely quiet space, supposedly child free. One evening there were two prams in there, I spoke with the bar staff asking why they had been allowed in ...they obviously had to maneuver the prams past the large sign that says "0-18 not allowed" ti get in in the first place (!). The staff looked embarrassed and obviously did not want any confrontation. I went and spoke with another bar manager I had met earlier in the voyage. Immediately he was on his phone asking for the children to be removed...and he also wanted to send me a plate of something for my inconvenience. Now that is service! Very impressed! unfortunately it was my last night so I had to decline! There is a corner of the Sky Lounge (unmarked on any deck plan!) that is an enclosed smoking room. Meals in the MDR were fine, didn't go hungry and didn't come out feeling as if I could't eat another mouthful. Buffet had a very good selection including an Ethnic Corner which had some good dishes I like the way the MDR is open for lunch every day to although I didn't try it. The drinks package is the best value at sea. Didn't like the rose too much but the prosecco and the Aperol more than made up for it! There is a far wider selection of beers in the pub than in any other bar too. I would say that travelling as a solo it was quite a lonely experience. Most were families or couples. I have never spoken so much French! I feel that the lack of roll calls on these cruises mean you do not build up any friendships beforehand. Ship never felt crowded and was well laid out. I personally hate the Royal Promenade on RCI ships (all the ambiance of a shoe box) but this one was wide and I think the 'curves' into the shop areas helped with the flow. Shops were full of luxury items. There is also a very good range of toiletries and essential items on board too. Branded items are much cheaper than on RCI. MSC also add €1pp to your cruise bill as a donation to UNICEF. If you prepay the tips in UK it works out at £49pp for 7 days compared to the €70pp on board (which is about £61). Every penny helps! There is a huge kids area with 10-pin bowling and car simulators, and a big sports court. Outside there is a waterslide and a rope climbing frame for the adventurous. Last day was a disaster. Disembarking in Marseilles where all documentation said we docked at 8a so flights had been arranged accordingly. On board they said they docked at 9. This caused a great deal of stress to some people, not to mention expense, where people had booked cars, or tours or onward transportation. Despite having the priority Orange coloured departure group there was no organisation and it was a free for all with everyone pushing to get off the ship at once. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The food is terrible. Little choice and cheap quality ingredients used and cooked badly - often overcooked. Food left over is rehashed into different dishes next day, for example leftover roast beef becomes sliced beef in gravy next day. ... Read More
The food is terrible. Little choice and cheap quality ingredients used and cooked badly - often overcooked. Food left over is rehashed into different dishes next day, for example leftover roast beef becomes sliced beef in gravy next day. I noticed food and drink is rationed in a subtle way for example in the breakfast cereals there are (cheap quality) corn flakes, rice crispies etc and muesli and when (little bowl) of muesli runs out during service it is not replenished forcing remaining diners to have corn flakes or rice crispies. Same with drinks first glass decent measure, second smaller. Ship claims to run out of certain wines, then has them again next day. Some things like bananas are only offered once a week. Meal in Tex Mex awful, ordered sirloin steak on second day of cruise - told they were sold out! Had fillet steak - terrible unseasoned overcooked and served with iceberg lettuce Not Tex Mex! Meal in etoile, where Yacht Club members dine (70 eur) also bad, 3 tiny pieces of meat. More like a ferry than a cruise with the ship picking up and dropping passengers and ports and safety drill in Seven languages interrupting evenings social life take ages. Shop and reception staff are rude and unhelpful. A million miles away from any other cruise experience we’ve had on P&O, Cunard and Celebrity. MSC have started sailing from Southampton and I suggest any UK person to avoid and not be taken in by advertising hype. This cruise line has a lot to learn. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
MSC Meraviglia Westen Mediterranean cruise. Feb.2018. This ship is like a game changer of Italian cruise lines. It's a fabulous vessel, and we really enjoyed it. Venues and shows are spectacular, entertainment is in the ... Read More
MSC Meraviglia Westen Mediterranean cruise. Feb.2018. This ship is like a game changer of Italian cruise lines. It's a fabulous vessel, and we really enjoyed it. Venues and shows are spectacular, entertainment is in the air in a way that we haven't experienced with MSC before. I really enjoyed the opera, but there was something for everyone. It's a great ship for the cold with marvellous indoor pool areas and a fantastic spa. I did however question if it would work in the summer time since there is a lack of outdoor space. I asked someone and got it confirmed that the past summer was a disaster since there wasn't space enough on the pool decks. It's been pointed out before : it's like travelling on a bus, with people coming and the whole time. This makes the reception constantly crowded. Unlike many non - Italian ships there isn't much of a choice for dinner unless you are willing to pay up. You can however visit the buffet, which is at least one alternative. We were happy with what we got regarding quality and service, but we miss the delight of being able to choose where to go for dinner like we would normally do. General service was a mixed bag, but house keeping was top notch. With people leaving just about every day, disembarkation was great. Embarkation could have been good too, but it was unnecessarily messy. Even if it was too cold to be outside our kids had their best cruise ever. All the theatures and the kid's clubs kept them happy. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
After reading some of the reviews we were wondering what we’d let ourselves in for. We needn’t have been concerned, the ship was lovely, spotlessly clean, cabin although a little smaller than most, was very comfortable, the staff ... Read More
After reading some of the reviews we were wondering what we’d let ourselves in for. We needn’t have been concerned, the ship was lovely, spotlessly clean, cabin although a little smaller than most, was very comfortable, the staff friendly and helpful. Plenty of entertainment.The theatre, and the Circe de Soliel were excellent. Although there were many nationalities on board English was the first language.The food was good, all tastes catered for in the buffet diner and specialty restaurants. Maybe a bit on the expensive side, but we were on holiday. The only disappointment was the weather. We enjoyed Rome, and Valletta.Barcelona and Marseilles were the proverbial wash out. We are going to the Caribbean next month so hopefully we shall find the sunshine there, again we go with MSC, although not the same ship. I’m not going to read any reviews before I go, as we had a very good experience last time I shall look forward to the same. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I am currently a passenger on the MSC Meraviglia. My wife and I are passengers on a Mediterranean cruise.I can honestly say that this past week I experienced the worst of over 35 cruises I have enjoyed. The ship is not geared for the ... Read More
I am currently a passenger on the MSC Meraviglia. My wife and I are passengers on a Mediterranean cruise.I can honestly say that this past week I experienced the worst of over 35 cruises I have enjoyed. The ship is not geared for the American audience. For example coffee or tea after dinner is an extra. The MSC line nickel and dime you whenever possible. On several days I had to wait 45 minutes to get back onto the ship. When I asked to speak to the head of security, I received the run around. I am still ,after several days and asking to speak to someone waiting to hear from any personal. The food on this ship is sub par as opposed to all the other cruises I have been on. It is so bad that my wife and I are going to pass our normal dinner seating and opt for pizza. If you are are from the US you will quickly realize the poor quality and treatment passengers receive on this ship. I notified them in advance that it was our anniversary and not so much as a balloon was placed on the door. Please note I offered to pay for the anniversary addition. It leaves a lot to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
First of all this is a big cruise ship: 19 floors, over 5,000 passengers, 1,200 crew. It is like a big floating hotel with a small mall in the center. It is quite new (June 2017), so it looks and feels new, shiny and flashy. It is a great ... Read More
First of all this is a big cruise ship: 19 floors, over 5,000 passengers, 1,200 crew. It is like a big floating hotel with a small mall in the center. It is quite new (June 2017), so it looks and feels new, shiny and flashy. It is a great ship, no questions about it... The crew is excellent. I have read reviews of this an other cruise ships and they always mention that the workers seem to be stressed out, don't have time for the passengers, seem to be on a labor dispute attitude, etc. Well, not this one. The crew, which is made of people from all over the world: Latino Americans, South East Asians, Africans, and mostly Italian supervisors, is very attentive, friendly and very hard workers. We were nicely surprised. Our room was modern and efficient, on the 8th floor. This was a low budget trip for us, so we selected an interior room without window or balcony, but that was never an issue, we just left the light of the bathroom on at night so that we wouldn't feel confused or lost in the dark. The food was good. The ships has several free restaurants, but passengers are assigned a specific lunch/dinning restaurant for the entire trip. All these restaurants have the same Mediterranean-style menu. They have different shifts and we selected the last shift at 9:15pm for dinner, which meant we were mostly surrounded by Spaniards, which like to dine late. The portions were "European-size", not "American-size" but we never left hungry. We could also go to "The Marketplace Buffet" a big all-you-can-eat cafeteria on the 15th floor. It was open 20 hrs a day and offered breakfast, lunch and dinner (all free). We had no complaint about the variety and quality of the food. There were also several other specialty restaurants (steakhouse, Japanese, Italian) that required you to pay. We had jet-lag since we came from California, and we were up at 6am every day. That happen to be a blessing, since at 6:30am the Marketplace cafeteria was just opening, almost empty except for some Chinese people that also had a similar jet-lag. It was peaceful and enjoyable, and you could watch the sun rise and the clarity impose itself on the Mediterranean waters, right outside of the wall-to wall glass windows of the cafeteria. If you tried to go to the same cafeteria at 9am you would feel like in a mad house, with thousands of people all trying to serve themselves with fried eggs, bacon, sausages, croissants and what-else, running around and avoiding each other at the same time. We decided to keep our jet-lag for the rest of the trip... You could buy drinks (wine, beers, cocktails, soda's or mineral water) one at-a-time, or purchase drink packages, which I would recommend since one-at-a-time is expensive, in the range of EUR 5 for a soda to EUR 8 or more for a cocktail. During our stay we bought two decent Italian white wine bottles at the restaurant and paid EUR 25 ea., but there were many more expensive selections in the wine list. Our waiter (we always had the same waiter assigned to our table) was super-sweet and kept our unfinished wine bottles on the fridge for the next dinner. Free juice was available at the cafeteria but only for breakfast. No free soda fountains, and a glass with soda and ice was EUR 5 ea., which really bothered me. There was free coffee, hot water and tea bags at the cafeteria, and also several free filtered water fountains and we used them to fill our empty plastic bottles that we brought with us when we checked-in, and we reused them over-and-over in our land-explorations. They also added to our package --at the last minute and without us asking for it-- a free mineral water bottle with meals at the restaurant, which was very nice. We did not try to bring in liquor or beers into the ship, since we had read on the internet that they would confiscate them, but the water bottles were never a problem. The ship had different activities every day, and we very much enjoyed the troupe that performed different shows of music and dance several times a day in the theater in the back of the ship. There were also two different shows of Cirque du Soleil and we bought tickets for a dinner-and-show night, but to our bad luck that was the only day that we had bad weather, the ship was moving noticeably and they canceled the show... They returned the EUR 35 ea. that we paid for our tickets. So, we cannot judge the quality of the show. But we need to dispel some misinformation about Cirque du Soleil shows: It is a smaller theater and a smaller troupe than what you get on a regular show when they travel to different cities. And the shows are much shorter in duration. There is no free Cirque du Soleil shows since you have to either buy a dinner-and-show for EUR 35 ea. or a cocktail-and-show for EUR 15 ea. Purchasing of tickets at the ship, or confirming your assistance (which is a requirement for the tickets to be valid) is at very inconvenient times (9:30am to 4:30pm) since this is the time that you are in land and not in the ship, and you cannot do it online. We couldn't use the multiple swimming pools of the ship since it was winter. One of the pools was in a covered area on the 15th floor but it was not totally insulated and it felt a little too "cool" for our taste. We did try a jacuzzi and it was very nice once "the masses" had disappeared to prepare themselves for dinner... We loved the Sky Lounge on the 18th floor, were we had a drink every night before dinner, overlooking the 15th floor swimming pool through the big glass windows of the lounge. No kids allowed, so it was a peaceful place and a piano was gently played in a corner... The main promenade has a nice LED dome that produces different light shows through the day and night. On the sides there are some stores and several bars and lounges, but as with the main Atrium and Reception Desk, they are overwhelmed by people on the evenings. I felt sorry for the grand-piano players at the Atrium, that were supposed to produce warm-welcoming jazzy music in that chaos of people. And there were always long lines at the Reception Desk. It was a puzzle why so many people had to visit the desk every day and night. Maybe part of the reason is that there is people checkin in-and out of the ship on every port, so they had to settle their accounts before departing the ship the next day... Internet access was the worst part of the experience on this ship. It is slow and super-expensive. We purchased a package of a little less than 1 gig of data for $38.50, and somehow it was mostly gone in 30 minutes of use. Don't ask me how, since I had disabled most of the apps background data connections. I was trying to use Google Maps to plan our excursions, but to no avail. We had also purchased a Vodafone sim card for our iPhone, so we had to wait for the ship to get very close to port to get some reception and be able to connect to the internet and plan our daily trips. Using the Vodafone card in port and on land to guide ourselves to were we wanted to go barely used a fraction of the data cap allowed, so I don't understand how the ship data package was exhausted so quickly. So, do all your research of the places you want to visit, how to get there, etc., before you arrive to the cruise ship, since you won't have barely any internet access once you are in. And buy a Vodafone or similar multi-country sim card that you can use with your smartphone on each destination. The other thing that really irritated me is the lack of comprehensive information about the different features and cost of activities in the ship, before you buy your tickets and during your voyage. The online information is fractured, incomplete or non-existent. MSC has a website and specific web pages about the MSC Meraviglia, and they have an app that you can use in your smartphone or iPad while in the ship, but a lot of information is simply not there. As an example, they feature prominently the Cirque du Soleil shows, as they should, but it doesn't say anywhere if it is included in the ticket. I had to call the cruise travel agent to ask the question, wait for them to call the company and then they told me it was included. False. It was NOT included. You need to buy a dinning ticket or a cocktail ticket to be able to see the show. I asked several other questions and they sent me links to web pages that more or less touched on the issues, but these pages are not linked to the main website, you have no way to see them unless they send you the specific link. And there is barely any information about the ports and docks, and how to get from the ship to the city that you are landing, if there is any bus service, how much it cost, location maps, etc. It is as if they expect you to just join one of their tours and never wander by yourself on the cities that you are visiting... The other thing that irritated us was the checkin process. Totally unnecessary long waiting lines. They give you some orange juice at the end, when they should have offered the juice while we waited that stupid line. While I waited sitting on the concrete floor, exhausted after our long trip from California, I kept thinking that the airlines have mastered since long ago the checkin process and I could not understand why it was so complicated for these cruise people. We had already paid for our trip, we had done a required online-checking process many days before. What else was needed? Just to show our boarding pass, passport and go in, isn't? Nope. Don't ask me why. As a compensation, de-boarding the last day our our trip was much easier and fast, except for a visit to the Reservation Desk to contest a charge from the Bamboo Bar that was incorrect, and it required us to wait a couple of hours for them to contact the waitress to confirm our dispute. I guess they didn't believe us stinky cheap passengers... At the end, you have to question if this cruise was worth it. This was our first mega-cruise experience and I think it was worth it. We learned a lot. But I realize we are not be the typical cruise passenger. Our idea before joining this cruise was to use it as a means of transportation and accommodation as we visit all the different cities in the itinerary. It brought us to each city and we didn't have to deal with moving our luggage to a different hotel each day. And of course, it's nice to have a new and clean ship, with facilities that you can use while you are there. But our original idea is not exactly correct. First, visiting the cities is not as easy at it sounds, the docks are not necessarily at walking distance and transportation gets complicated, time-consuming and even expensive, plus they don't really give you any clues, you have to find everything by yourself. Second, the cruise is a destination by itself. For a lot of people --the majority-- the cruise is the destination and the cities just the excuse. They enjoy being on the ship, eating and drinking, dancing and wearing their finest cloths at night shows, restaurants and lounges. It's a floating resort! So, we'll have to think twice before doing another cruise, and it will have to be a much smaller ship. This ship is beautiful, good service, good food, good facilities, but too big, too many people, and not the kind of vacation that I have ever dreamed of. But if you like big resorts, enjoy it! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
If you want to go away and lose weight then this is the cruise for you. The food is literally no better than 1 star. Staff service is ok but ignore the staff to customer ratio half of them obviously missed the ship, takes ages to get ... Read More
If you want to go away and lose weight then this is the cruise for you. The food is literally no better than 1 star. Staff service is ok but ignore the staff to customer ratio half of them obviously missed the ship, takes ages to get served, a lot quicker getting yourself. We've both had upset stomachs . Ok the cabin not bad, ship tidy, what they don't tell you in the luxury cruise brochure is they let 3rd class citizens on at various ports for a stay at next to nothing to make up the numbers. When you work hard all year and book a luxury cruise one expects to eat well, get top service and relax with like minded people. That not going to happen with this cruise liner company. The worst part is constantly being sniped at with hidden charges, maybe we should have read the small print but when you pay for all inclusive including food and drinks package one doesn't expect to pay for bottled water, orange juice and the like. They also force a daily service charge per person on you. VERY VERY dissapointed. 1 star rating I'm afraid. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We had hoped MSC might be a good alternative cruise line, after dozens of cruise with others. IT IS NOT. The ship was lovely and accommodations fine, but there is simply NO service on the ship. Staff were untrained in basics (like where ... Read More
We had hoped MSC might be a good alternative cruise line, after dozens of cruise with others. IT IS NOT. The ship was lovely and accommodations fine, but there is simply NO service on the ship. Staff were untrained in basics (like where the knife and fork go on the table, for instance). Staff were uninterested in helping passengers in any way. Food was terrible, meager and boring...and they literally make you buy water to drink with your meals. The buffet was repetitive and tasteless, and the environment filthy. Passengers were down right rude, and staff completely unhelpful. We removed all tips from our bill as no one deserved any. (Although the cabin steward was very good overall). There is no comparison to any American cruise lines, except to say that compared to MSC even the worst ones seem elegant. What a disappointment. It is worthless to try to get concerns taken seriously with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Ship is old but OK, Service is very good, polite, helpfull... Cabin could be better. Excursions are very expensive and not good organised, to get on and off the boat it is a war, a fight to be the first ! Dining is like a hundreds of ... Read More
Ship is old but OK, Service is very good, polite, helpfull... Cabin could be better. Excursions are very expensive and not good organised, to get on and off the boat it is a war, a fight to be the first ! Dining is like a hundreds of hungry pigs doing a hold-up on the buffet! The theme restaurants are better for the service, food is as bad as in the self service. Once I had risotto with St Jacobs scallops , sorry was only 1 slice, about 1/5 of a scallop!! An other day we had Pintade.... the leg who has been warmed up in a microwave, it was hard as a stone!! Also pay attention to your drinks.... not included and very expensive if you want to enjoy cocktais, wine, etc .....I hoped to have a good reposing cruise, but it turned out in a horrible experence. That is why I do not want to let you have the same disillusion Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I usually do not review cruises but this one cannot be ignored. My husband and I flew to Barcelona with 10 friends to take the MSC Meraviglia cruise that sailed 11-24-17. The itinerary for this cruise was great. But, sadly, that was the ... Read More
I usually do not review cruises but this one cannot be ignored. My husband and I flew to Barcelona with 10 friends to take the MSC Meraviglia cruise that sailed 11-24-17. The itinerary for this cruise was great. But, sadly, that was the only thing that was great. The ship is new and quite beautiful but the acoustics are horrid. It is a very loud ship. The cabins appear roomy but that is because there is limited furniture (no chair), a very small closet with only a few thick wooden hangers that take up a lot of precious room and only two very very small drawers which are located in the small closet. I would suggest bringing hangers and limiting your clothes. Use the extra luggage space to bring water. Only water available in the dining room is what you bring in or buy at 3.25 a bottle. And forget about getting a cup of coffee after dinner. Not available in the dining room. You would not have time to drink it anyway. They start trying to get you to leave about an hour after arriving. Our first night, the Maitre 'D actually asked us to leave. Only time he talked to us the whole 8 day cruise. Our waiter was rude and unsociable. He was rolling his eyes while standing behind you taking your order. I guess he thought we would not see that. The food portions were very small and the quality was mediocre at best. This was the first cruise that I lost weight. There were several nights that we had to go to the buffet after dinner if it was open. The buffet was closed more often then it was open. They shut it down after breakfast for two hours and again from 4PM-7:30PM and again at about 10:00 PM. During those times all that is available is Pizza which was not very good. It's an Italian ship and the pizza was not very good. The poolside grill was cooking hamburgers but would not let you get one. They were wrapping and taking them to the buffet. By the time you got one, took it to the salad bar to put lettuce/tomato on it, it was cold. But, I only ate one because it was terrible meat. Disembarkations for the tours were total chaos. On our tour to Rome the bus turned around 1/2 hour into the trip to come back for 4 people they forgot. They got us back to the ship at tour end late and we missed our appointed dinner seating. They would not seat us and told us to go to the buffet. When we went up there all that was available was pizza. We paid for some fish and chips at a pub and they were tasteless. The buffet served exactly the same food day after day. There were a few desserts that were good but in general it was just mediocre food. The hot chocolate at the specialty shop was great but that is another paid for item. You have to reserve all shows. The cigarette smoke in the casino is terrible. The staff ranged from complacent to rude. I could go on. This was the worst cruise I have been on and I will never sail with MSC again. They began as a cargo hauler and apparently still think that's what they are doing because they are definitely not a cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We decided to take a cruise in the last minute and the MSC Armonia was the only one available. As soon as we entered our room there was a leaflet stating that the times of the disembarkation and embarkation in the visiting ports were ... Read More
We decided to take a cruise in the last minute and the MSC Armonia was the only one available. As soon as we entered our room there was a leaflet stating that the times of the disembarkation and embarkation in the visiting ports were changed. For instance : Valleta which should be the highlight of this cruise was from 3 PM to 7 PM. All the attractions were closed and all the people returned to the ship at the same hour. We waited over an hour to get in while everybody was pushing and shouting. Another place was Napoli: we arrived at 7 AM and left at 12 noon. What place of interest or shoping are opening before 10 AM ??? Our friend set at a table for breakfast and waited for us. the staff came and shouted at him that he must get up and wait for us outside the restaurant ! The Theatre entertaiment was very poor and very short. I am writing this critic because we are taking many cruises and can compare with other companies. We never had such a bad experience Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
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